Hi, I’m Chris McFadden, also known as The Daddy Sleep Consultant. I’m a baby and toddler sleep coach and today I’m going to talk to you about key tips and strategies for newborn sleep.
One question I get asked by all new parents is how much sleep do babies need? before they go into this, it is important to remember that all babies are different. Yes, that are common traits at different ages but don’t compare your little one to your friends or family.
And the first few weeks, a newborn will likely sleep for up to 16 to 20 hours per day. Newborns love to sleep so try and get rest when you can. If they aren’t sleeping as much as 16 to 20 hours a day, it might be that they aren’t filling their tummy up on the feed and are less content so have a look at the feeding patterns, if that is the case.
Because of how much they sleep and feed, newborns don’t really have a sleep schedule. The focus on early weeks is just feeding, changing, and sleeping. Babies having a day and night the wrong way around it is completely normal. If you find your baby is more awake at night than the day, try to rose them more than the daytime using lukewarm baths or towels. After a few days, you should see a significant shift.
Our baby will gradually start to sleep a little less than a day as their tummies grow, and they can take more milk to sustain energy. From then, a more formal routine can usually develop, probably around the 4 or 5-month mark. At this age, ideally, they would be sleeping at 11 to 12 hours at night and 4 to 6 hours in the daytime.
Introducing a bedtime routine from early on can help babies start to differentiate the day and night. A simple routine of massage, bath or wash, fresh sleepsuit, and bedtime feed. Once they are at fresh sleepsuit from night time, make sure all their feeds and sleep are done in a dark and low-stimulating environment.
When it’s morning change up the tempo, do a daytime naps and feeds in a light and buzzing environment. Fresh air is also very helpful for connecting day and night rather. So get them out from naps this is great for flexibility anyway, you don’t want a baby that only sleeps in a cot or you will be tied to the house.
If your newborn is sleeping very long stretches in the day, it’s all key to gently rose them for a feed and some interaction. If you do this for a few days, you should start to see more of that awake time in the day, which will allow them to feed more then and slightly less at night which should give everyone some longer stretches of nighttime sleep.
When feeding at night, keep the lights low and use a nightlight that’s dim with a red or amber glow when possible as they are less stimulating than blue lights. Some babies find a lot of comfort from white noise. If you think about the room, that is a kind of swishing noise from the body.
One key thing to remember as how important as to wind the baby, they’re so much more settled and able to lay on the back when their tummy is comfortable. Make sure you still wind your baby at night even if they fall asleep on the feed. One pop isn’t always enough and you should be looking for the tummy to be all nice and squidgy which is a good saying that it has all gone.
I’m The Daddy Sleep consultant I then talked about some of the key safe sleep principles. One of the most important is that babies should always be put down to sleep on their backs with their feet at the bottom of the crib. Make sure the crib and cot is empty of toys or comforters until they’re at least one year old. And if you use a blanket, it should be tucked under your baby’s arms and neatly on the sides. You should also sleep in the same room as your little one until they’re 6 months old, most parents want to do this as they can keep an eye on the little one and the night plus it’s more convenient for feeding.